I’m currently exploring some of the wonderful places around Rainbow Beach, including Fraser Island, Double Island Point and Great Sandy National Park
It’s pretty difficult to write blog posts from a mobile phone, so I’ll give you a more detailed account of our adventures in a few days.
In the mean time I’ll try to upload a new photo every couple of days so you can see what we’ve been doing.
Day 1. Double Island Point
There’s a track from our back door to the beach.
While everyone else was asleep I rolled down the track and on to the beach.
I had no firm plans… just to ride while the tide was low.
A couple of hours later I was standing on the cliffs next to the lighthouse 🙂
I had the wind at my back for the return journey. It was an effortless roll back down the beach.
Like giant blueberries on spindly legs, soldier crabs seemed to be in much more of a hurry than I was.
Total ride time today was about three hours to cover 35km.
On a fat bike this iconic ride rates 5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.
Max elevation: 80 m
Min elevation: -20 m
Total climbing: 398 m
Total descent: -406 m
Average speed: 12.03 km/h
Total time: 03:35:36
Day 2. Carlo Sandblow and Inskip Point
The Carlo Sandblow is a large patch of sand almost a kilometre wide perched high on the dunes above the beach. We’ve walked across it before but today I decided to ride it on the bike.
The soft sand is difficult to cross on foot, but with enough speed it’s possible to make the bike float over the sand.
I was able to pedal most the way to the “high” side then pushed the bike to the top of the hill. In a fit of childish adventure-lust I the hopped on, pedaled hard, kept my weight back, and hung on tight.
What a hoot! I’m definitely doing that again.
To finish the ride off I rolled back down to the beach and rode up to Inskip Point. There’s a large sink-hole on the waters edge that I wanted to have a look at. Although it was about 11km each way on the sand, the low tide and gentle breeze made it an effortless ride.
30km in about 3 hours… this one rates 7 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter but be prepared for some steep climbs to get up to the Sandblow.
Max elevation: 84 m
Min elevation: -47 m
Total climbing: 345 m
Total descent: -386 m
Average speed: 11.58 km/h
Total time: 03:13:36
Day 3. Lake Boomingen and Jabiru Swamp
Darb and I caught the Barge from Inskip Point to Fraser Island. While we were on the way over, two car loads of beautiful English tourists agreed to have their photo taken with me. This was going to be a good day 🙂
As we rode along the sand at Hook Point I could see the red cliffs of Rainbow Beach in the distance. I had ridden from there this morning to meet Darb.
I never tire of looking at them.
We rode North along the beach to Dilli Village. It’s about 30km and takes about 2 hours in favorable conditions. It felt secluded although we shared the beach with a few 4wd’s on their way North.
At Dilli Village we left the beach and followed the walking track inland. We were both relieved to be out of the sunny glare of the beach and in some shade.
We stopped at Wongi Sandblow on the way. It’s a tough scramble to the top through steep soft sand, but the views to the ocean and to the lake were worth the effort.
The trail to Lake Boomingen is hilly. I was quite hot and sweaty by the time we arrived and could think of nothing else except how much I wanted to cool off in the water.
This was magic!
Other people arrived and thought the same thing as me: A lake is perfect on a hot day.
After a relaxing break we started our return journey along the Jabiru Swamp Track. It’s sandy in places which slowed our progress and tired us.
It’s a pretty trail which runs through a beautiful fresh water swamp with crystal clear water.
But it was a long way. Our progress was slower than on the beach.
Thankfully the track was shady and we were grateful for the coolness.
Distance markers informed us how far we were from finishing. I was feeling very tired and found myself counting down the remaining kilometers.
Back at Hook Point I collapsed under the trees in the Dunes while we waited for the Barge.
This had been a tough but spectacular day.
I rode about 85km and burned about 4,500 kcal. Darb rode about 70km.
Most of this was on sand.
Total riding time was about 10 hours including breaks.
I’ll rate this one 9 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. It would be easier (8 / 10) on a cool day.
Thanks Darb for sharing another memorable day with me.
Max elevation: 136 m
Min elevation: -17 m
Total climbing: 1042 m
Total descent: -1026 m
Average speed: 11.85 km/h
Total time: 10:25:00
Day 4. Rest Day
After the rigors of yesterday’s ride I decided to take it easy, sit in the dunes, and have a low-key day.
I found a shady tree in the dunes behind our house, sat out of the sun and watched the “traffic” on the beach. These strange-looking bikes don’t have pedals but look like a lot of fun.
The dunes between our house and the beach are full of wildlife. This small Frilly Lizard clung to a branch of a paperbark tree near the track.
Liz tells me earlier she saw a large lace monitor swaggering across the track with a discarded fish head in its mouth.
Later that afternoon we had company on our deck as a Kookaburra watched us to see if he could get an easy meal.
When the sun set we took a leisurely stroll down the beach past bright ochre colored rocks, driftwood, and stranded blue bottles.
As Banjo so eloquently said “and at night the wondrous glory of the everlasting stars”
Orion stood proudly over us, bright in spite of the waxing moon.
I love this place!
Day 5. Lake McKenzie
Today we decided to hire a 4WD (4×4) and visit a few places on Fraser Island that are too difficult to get to by bike in one day.
After picking up our hire vehicle we bought a barge ticket and beach permit, then hopped on the Manta Ray Barge at Inskip Point to start our adventure.
We drove up the beach to Eurong, then headed inland along some sandy tracks toward Lake McKenzie.
Driving a 4WD on soft sand is much easier in a 4WD than on a fat bike 🙂
As we passed one huge Satinay tree (Syncarpia hillii) in the forest, I just had to stop the car and hug it. Liz patiently took photos.
After about an hour of driving we arrived at Lake McKenzie.
This stunning lake has crystal clear fresh water and clean white sand. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“Hey this water is cleaner than the water in our swimming pool!” I said to Liz.
“That wouldn’t be too hard, would it?” she replied.
I suppose not, but it’s a beautiful place.
We were in no rush today so took our time in the cool water. I had decided the day before that we wouldn’t be rushing around today. The aim was to enjoy the place, rather than try and cram as much as we could into one day.
A high fence encloses the picnic area in order to keep dingos (native dogs) out.
The lizards and pigeons seemed to appreciate this – there were a lot of them loitering around the tables hoping to get food scraps.
On our drive back towards the beach we stopped at Wanggoolba Creek – a crystal clear creek running through a shady rainforest.
This place is known as “Central Station”. It was once a busy logging / forestry station until the middle of the 20th century.
They even had their own school.
But today it’s a World Heritage listed National Park.
I love it. I’m so glad we were able to experience it.
Back on the beach the low tide had given us a wide freeway to cruise back down to the barge.
“Neil, we’ve gotta get a 4wd,” Liz said to me.
I think I agree 🙂
We’ll come back to Fraser Island very soon.
We spent about 7 hours on the island.
The Manta Ray Barge costs $120 for a return ticket. (It’s only $80 if you go on a Sunday).
The Beach Permit costs $40 – but it lasts for a month.
The 4WD cost us $280 for the day, plus about $50 worth of fuel. We hired it from the wonderful people at Rainbow Beach 4×4 Hire. We’ve hired from them before, and will definitely use them again (unless we end up getting our own vehicle).
That’s the end of the mobile “on the run” updates for this trip.
In a few days I’ll post up report on our group ride to Double Island point.
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